21 June 2009

Remarks at Library Plaza Dedication

The new plaza at the Great Falls Public Library was dedicated on Saturday June 20 as The Alma Jacobs Memorial Plaza."

Dedication of the Alma Smith Jacobs Plaza Remarks by Ken Robison

Thank you all for honoring an amazing woman, Alma Smith Jacobs.
Our new not-profit, the Alma Smith Jacobs Foundation is being formed to honor Alma. Under the leadership of Reverend Mercedes Tudi-Hamilton, Frank and Mary Ghee, and our Board of Directors, the Foundation will address social and economic issues in Great Falls.

Alma lived a life of accomplishment and service to the Great Falls community. Mayor Stebbins will pay tribute to this.

We stand today in the new Plaza of the House that Alma built, the Great Falls Public Library. Alma’s quiet leadership and persistence led the Community to support construction of this Library over forty years ago.

Our Library is my favorite place in Great Falls. On the third floor, the Montana Room houses a fine collection of Montana history and a display of photos and memorabilia honoring the founding of Great Falls 125 years ago.

On the shelves of the Montana Room is a tiny pamphlet compiled by Alma and her sister Lucille.

This pamphlet is a bibliography documenting African Americans in Montana.

Alma’s pamphlet served as inspiration when Bob Harris and I challenged the Montana Historical Society to study Black History Resources in Montana. With good work by Patty Dean and Alma's nephew Alan Thompson, who are with us today, and others, Montana’s Black History is becoming available to researchers and to the classroom.

The memory of Alma Jacobs lives on.

Thank you . . . Now, Mayor Stebbins

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